The EC has proposed to restrict the number of non-EU countries which will be automatically eligible for funding under Horizon 2020. They published a strategy document yesterday, which said that like FP7, Horizon 2020 will have similar general conditions with regards to eligibility however the list of countries eligible for automatic funding will be restricted by introducing a new threshold on total GDP. This has been proposed in order to exclude large, emerging economies including, perhaps, China, India and Brazil. Funding for participants from these countries will still be possible in some cases. such as those where a reciprocal agreement is in place.
The Royal Academy of Engineering have announced their next round of Research Exchanges with China and India scheme funding. The scheme promotes collaboration between high quality engineering researchers in the UK and China/India and facilitates the expansion of networks of excellence in engineering research between the UK and China/India. It enables academic engineering researchers at Universities to travel to a Chinese or Indian academic Institution, and for China/India-based academic researchers to spend between 3 and 12 months at a UK Institution. Visits should be part of longer-term efforts to build UK-China/India relationships and to advance joint research. Funding of up to £24,000 per annum is provided (or part thereof for shorter visits). The deadline for applications is 12 October 2012.
I heard John Claxton from the European Commission speaking last week on the participation on International Cooperation Countries (ICCs) in Horizon 2020 (These countries include Brazil, the USA, China and so on).
ICCs have been able to participate as EU members in the FP7 schemes most relevant to us at BU and indeed some calls for proposals have actually targeted these countries for participation. This targeted approach has reduced over the last 2 years of FP7, with instead just a general encouragement to engage with these countries which may be an indication for Horizon 2020. Figures show that 2.5% of the total budget goes to third countries, and one in 5 accepted proposals has a third country participant.
The 5 ICCs which participate most in FP7 in highest to lowest are Russia, the USA, India, South Africa and Brazil. And the programme which has a huge number of ICC participants is Marie Curie, with a whopping 12,000 researchers coming into the EU from ICCs.
The EU is currently revising the international cooperation policy between Member States and the rest of the European Union through committees such as the Strategic Forum for International Science and Technology Cooperation. These groups are trying to develop more coherence and synergies between ICCs and the EU Member States and have already launched pilot work with India, China, Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean and the USA and will be working on Brazil and Russia over the following year.
So what has sparked this change? Well most societal challenges are global in nature, especially those under focus in the proposed Horizon 2020. The EU needs to get access to ICCs working in similar areas and we need access to their markets. We also need to build a critical mass for tackling global challenges through resource pooling and risk sharing in order to lead to more possibilities for breakthroughs and innovations.
And what is the EC doing about it? The EC has recognised that the EU needs to engage more strategically and actively in international cooperation so has been developing more targeted approach. For Horizon 2020, the EC are aligning their societal challenges and enabling technologies with the rest of the world, looking at issues such as infrastructures, patents, publications, access to markets etc. More specifically there will be funding opportunities for ICCs within the proposed Horizon 2020. Under Societal Challenges and Industrial Leadership there will be the targeting of specific countries or regions based on common interiors and joint calls and co-funding of programmes with Third Countries. Under Excellent Science the will be specific fellowships designed to stimulate innovation, the development of global research infrastructures and of course the European Research Council and Marie Curie programmes will remain open to all countries globally. Finally under dedicated cross-cutting actions there will be support for bilateral, multilateral and bi-regional policy dialogue, network and twinning activities and other policy initiatives.
The final stages of ICC development under Horizon 2020 includes reinforcing partnerships between the EC and Member States, strengthening implementation, governance and evaluation, identifying areas for targeting and developing roadmaps with key partners.
So it looks as though ICCs will be incorporated even further into Horizon 2020 which is great for those of you with partners outside of the EU!
Implementation of 2020 EU Biodiversity Strategy: The European Commission, Directorates-General for the Environment/Climate Action, has published a call for tenders for the implementation of the 2020 EU biodiversity strategy: priorities for the restoration of ecosystems and their services in the EU. The aim is to provide support in relation to Action 6a of the EU biodiversity strategy. Target 6a concerns the development of a strategic framework to set priorities for restoration at subnational, national and EU levels.
EU–Chile Co-operation on Regional Innovation Systems: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy, has published a call for tenders for the EU–Chile co-operation on regional innovation systems in the framework of regional policy.In the framework of its dialogues on regional policy with countries outside the European Union, the Directorate-General for Regional Policy is keen to share its experience on European regional policy by offering technical assistance, training and expert advice related to specific regional development’s interests raised by their external partners.
The intention is to organise a twinning exercise and a training programme to support officials responsible for regional innovation systems in Chile.
EU–Latin America Co-operation on Cross-Border Co-operation: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy, has published a call for tenders for the EU–Latin America co-operation on cross-border co-operation in the framework of regional policy. In the framework of its dialogues on regional policy with countries outside the European Union (EU), the Directorate-General for Regional Policy is keen to share its experience on European regional policy by offering a mix of information sessions and study visits related to specific regional development’s interests raised by their external partners. The intention is to organise up to two information sessions in Europe for Latin American participants and two workshops in Latin America.
EU–China Regional Policy Dialogue: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy, has published a call for tenders for the EU–China regional policy dialogue. In the framework of its dialogues on regional policy with third countries, the Directorate-General for Regional Policy is keen to share its experience on European regional policy by offering a mix of information sessions and study visits related to specific regional development’s interests raised by our external partners. The intention is to organise two information sessions in Europe for Chinese participants, followed by two seminars in China and four targeted information sessions in Europe for small groups of Chinese participants.
Preparatory Action on Culture in External Relations: The European Commission, Directorate-General for Education and Culture, has published a call for tenders for the provision of a preparatory action on culture in external relations. The overall objective to which the contract will contribute is to support ongoing policy reflection and development on strengthening the role of culture in external relations and to nurture future work in this area. In particular, it should contribute to formulating recommendations for a strategy on culture in European external relations.
A new education component of the EU-China “people-to-people dialogue” agreement was recently announced . The agreement aims to make China more attractive for European students by setting up scholarship programmes, increase the mutual recognition of diplomas, and set up joint schools such as the China-Europe Institute of Clean and Renewable Energy. The European Commission will also encourage Chinese researchers to take part in the Marie Curie Programme for researcher exchange.
The EU and China have agreed to step up their science cooperation at their 14th bilateral summit, held in Beijing on 14 February. Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation under their Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement, and to enhance the exchange of young researchers, leaders wrote in statement. In addition, the EU and China said they will boost their cooperation in energy research, and will continue their collaboration on the satellite navigation system Galileo and space technology.
A profiling exercise has revealed that top Chinese universities generate more research income per academic staff member than Russell Group institutions when the figure is adjusted for purchasing power. This is one of the many findings revealed by a comparison of elite groups of universities using a new Thomson Reuters application that draws on data collected for the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. You can read more on all the profiles on the .
Scientific and technical collaboration between the United Kingdom and China has expanded further with the signing of a new agreement covering sectors including energy, advanced engineering and life sciences. The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the China Guanghua Science and Technology Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), coinciding with the meeting in London of Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
ChinaAccess4EU project is funded by FP7, aiming to increase the awareness and dissemination in the EU of access opportunities for European researchers and research organisations in Chinese national research and innovation programmes. There is a series of newly published calls under the themes Strategic Public Policy Research; Collaborative Research; and Health Care and Promotion.
The University of East Anglia says the new Tyndall Centre Fudan will help China shift to a low-carbon economy. The institution is an expansion of the university’s Tyndall research centre in the UK, in cooperation Fudan University in China. It has received a 15-year funding commitment from the Chinese central government and the Shanghai City government.
“It is our intention to combine the interdisciplinary strengths of all the UK universities in the Tyndall Centre and the excellence of Fudan University in order to better address some of the challenging problems which climate change is throwing at us,” said Trevor Davies, co-director of Fudan Tyndall, in a statement. “It is an exciting opportunity for both countries.”
The UK Tyndall Centre is led by the University of East Anglia, in collaboration with the Universities of Cambridge, Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, Southampton and Sussex.